Foraging

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The gathering of food is a concept that has been almost entirely abandoned by modern man, making it a forgotten science and art (when it comes to preparation). During travel, survival, or when food is quickly needed. What most people don't realize is that perfectly edible food grows everywhere, making foraging a viable survival method.

Much of the information in this article comes from both user experience and the U.S. Army Survival Handbook.

Safety[edit]

Many poisonous plants appear similar to other plants which would be edible. One example would be poison hemlock; appears to be very similar to wild carrot. The most important step to eating wild plants is to know your plant. It's good to study what kinds of plants are edible and how to distinguish them. That way when the time comes to use your knowledge, you can spare yourself from the danger of testing plants you are not familiar with.

One good way to prevent yourself from eating poisonous material is to avoid eating plants which have wilted. Some plants can become poisonous after wilting. Also avoid eating any fruits that don't appear ripe, because some fruits like Elderberry can be poisonous before they are fully ripe.

If you are inexperienced at foraging, it is best that you stay away from mushrooms all-together, even in a survival situation. Many mushrooms look similar and there are many kinds of poisonous mushrooms.

Avoid unnecessary contact with unfamiliar plants. Some plants can cause dermatitis (severe skin rash) which can be dangerous without proper health care. Symptoms can occur from minutes to hours. If your skin comes in contact with a poisonous plant, try to scrub off the plant oil using soap and water. If no soap is available, you can use dirt unless blisters have formed (since blisters open you up to infection). If a plant has spines or prickles, and you feel you must handle it, do so using gardening gloves or a durable material.

Ingestion poisoning can cause a variety of bad symptoms, from diarrhea, to hallucinations, to coma, and death. If you or someone else has consumed poisonous material, the best way to prevent the poison from causing serious damage is to induce vomiting. Vomiting can be induced from either tickling the back of the throat or consuming warm salty water. Whether vomiting can be induced or not, it is also important for the victim to consume a large amount of water or milk, as this will help to dilute the poison.

Avoiding Poisonous Plants[edit]

These are some general rules for avoiding poisonous plants. There are many exceptions to these rules when it comes to known edible plants, but these rules will make a desperate situation more safe.

Plant traits to avoid:

- Milky or discolored sap. - Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods. - Bitter or soapy taste. - Spines, fine hairs, or thorns. - Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage. - "Almond" scent in woody parts and leaves. - Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs. - Three-leaved growth pattern.

Universal Edibility Test[edit]

From the U.S. Army Survival Handbook:

If there are no familiar plants available, or if there is any doubt of the edibility of a plant, it might be necessary to conduct an edibility test. The edibility test takes at least 24 hours to conduct.

To prepare, each part of the plant must be gathered and separated (leaves, stalk, roots, flowers, etc).

To test:

  1. Test only one part of a potential food at a time.
  2. Separate the plant into it's basic components - leaves, stems, roots, buds,

and flowers.

  1. Smell the food for strong acid odors. Remember, smell alone does not indicate whether a plant is edible or inedible.
  2. Do not eat 8 hours before starting the test.
  3. During the 8 hours you abstain from eating, test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant part you are testing on the inside of your elbow or wrist. Usually 15 minutes is enough time to allow for a reaction.
  4. During the test period, take nothing by mouth except purified water and the plant part you are testing.
  5. Select a small portion of a single part and prepare it in the way you plan to eat it.
  6. Before placing the prepared plant part in your mouth, touch a small portion (a pinch) to the outer surface of your lip to test for burning or itching.
  7. If after 3 minutes there is no reaction on your lip, place the plant part on your tongue, holding it there for 15 minutes.
  8. If there is no reaction, thoroughly chew a pinch and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. Do not swallow.
  9. If no burning, itching, numbing, stinging, or other irritation occurs during the 15 minutes, swallow the food.
  10. Wait 8 hours. If any ill effects occur during this period, induce vomiting and drink a lot of water.
  11. If no ill effects occur, eat 0.25 cup of the same plant prepared the same way. Wait another 8 hours. If no ill effects occur, the plant part as prepared is safe for eating.

CAUTION Test all parts of the plant for edibility, as some plants have both edible and inedible parts. Do not assume that a part that proved edible when cooked is also edible when raw. Test the part raw to ensure edibility before eating raw. The same part or plant may produce varying reactions in different individuals.

Ethical Foraging Guidelines[edit]

Like a good friend, the earth provides us with free chow, so we must take the proper steps to sustain this relationship.

  1. Never pick too much of a plant from one area. If you must harvest a large amount, pick a moderate amount from several locations. Picking too much from a single area can affect the edible plant population and effect the local ecosystem.
  2. Always get permission when necessary! If a certain plant is on private property, contact the owner for their permission to harvest from their plant. Most people won't care and will allow you to do so if you are polite and honest. You generally won't need permission if you are picking a plant from a park or anywhere that's public property unless you are in a protected area or a county park. While you technically can pick what you want, it's a good idea to ask local experts what should be picked and what shouldn't be picked. Many edible plants are considered invasive or non-native, in which case you are free to pick what you like. Try to go for plants that grow fast and aren't endangered.
  3. Make sure to leave enough for the animals!
  4. If you happen to obtain seeds from a plant that you have eaten, it is a good idea to plant those seeds in the same area you picked from.

Edible Plants[edit]

Here is a list of relatively common plants that are edible and easy to identify.

Acorns[edit]

You can collect wild acorns for free and then turn them into a meal similar to corn meal! Just gather a decent amount of acorns and shell them with a nutcracker or a stone. Grind the meat inside in a blender with water until it is a smooth paste, or hand grind it into a similar consistency. Now, you must place the ground meats into a colander lined with a paper towel and rinse thoroughly several times. You will notice that the water that runs out is milky. You are draining a bitter substance called tannic acid that rendered the meal inedible unless it is drained out. Repeat until the water that runs out is clear. Taste the meal to make sure. Too much tannic acid in your meal makes it bitter and can damage your kidneys over time, so be sure the water runs clear. After letting it dry, you can use it in a manner similar to cornmeal or flour. Use it to make pancakes, muffins, biscuits, cookies, etc.

Another method for leaching the acorns is to pour the paste into a stocking and filter out the tannic acid by running the stocking under running water. This will make it possible to process acorns even without a sink; The stocking can by placed in a stream or a river like the Native Americans used to do.

During the Civil War, acorns were used as a coffee substitute. Take plump, round acorns and shell them. Brown them in an oven and grind them with a coffee grinder. Brew as you normally would coffee. If needed, you can use this as an extender for coffee. Just remember that they can be very bitter, and won't taste as good as regular coffee.

Acorns from the white oak tree are considered to be the best, since they tend to be very large and have the least amount of bitter tannic acid in comparison to other varieties of acorns. Native Americans used to fight over these trees because they sometimes have a very large yield, hence these trees became very valuable.

Chickweed (Stellaria)[edit]

Chickweed is a ground-covering plant with small alternating leaves and little white blossoms. There are some other plants that are referred to as chickweed, such as Mouse-ear Chickweed, but these are not true chickweed. True chickweed is part of the stellaria genus, whilst false chickweeds are usually of the the Cerastium genus.

Location: There are many species of chickweed, all of which look very similar to one-another. The common chickweed (stellaria media) can be found on forest floors throughout North America, Europe, and even Australia. It has also been naturalized in Japan. Chickweed can also be found in fields and disturbed ground. While it usually grows on it's own, if you come across Miner's Lettuce, there is a good chance that common chickweed will be growing among it.

Identification: All true chickweeds are edible, but some false chickweeds are not. One way to identify chickweed is to examine the stem for a small single line of hairs growing up one side of the stems. In case you are not sure you have chickweed, you can take one of the stems and bend and twist part of it until the outer part of the stem comes apart; You there should still be a small white elastic fiber connecting the two parts of the broken stem. This might take a few tries. Chickweed tastes very similar to corn silk, so if you are willing, you can taste one of the leaves to verify the correct flavor. If any of these 3 tests fail, you probably don't have chickweed.

Preparation: It can be consumed as a leaf vegetable in salads. Can be boiled, but like many wild greens, it will shrink significantly if boiled.

Dandelion[edit]

Dandelions are quite possibly one of the ultimate famine foods. Many people believe that they are a worthless and poisonous weed. They can't be further from the truth. Not only are they completely edible, but they grow just about everywhere and they contain more vitamins and minerals than other leafy greens such as spinach. A cup of dandelion leaves contains 112% daily recommendation of vitamin A, 32% of vitamin C, and 535% of vitamin K and 218 mg potassium, 103 mg calcium, and 1.7 mg of iron. The entire plant can be eaten and used for different purposes. The leaves can either be made into or added to a salad or blanched by boiling in salty water. The root can either be eaten and cooked like any other root, or can be roasted and ground up to be used as a coffee substitute (like Chicory). The flowers can be used to make a tea or can be made into fritters. If you can find an abundant amount of flowers, it's possible to use them for making wine. Keep in mind that dandelion greens are somewhat bitter, so you may decide to blanch the leaves by adding them to boiling salt water (make sure you have a lot of leaves because dandelion leaves tend to shrink significantly when boiled). However the bitterness isn't intolerable and it's possible to acquire a taste for it. A simple dressing made of olive oil and vinegar with a little salt and pepper will make the greens more palatable.

More misconceptions about dandelions are that they are harmful to your garden. Dandelions are very efficient growers and will not harm your garden as long as there are not too many of them. You may even consider planting some in your victory garden because they grow extremely quickly and can become quite large when taken care of.

Dandelions can also be used for medicinal purposes. They are already very nutritious, but they can be used as an antioxidant and a diuretic. It's said that they are also good for kidney and liver cleansing.

False Dandelion (Catsear)[edit]

Catsear is known as the "False Dandelion" because of it's strikingly similar appearance. An easy way to tell the difference between a dandelion and a catsear is to check the stalk to see if it's hollow; If it's hollow, it's likely to be a dandelion. If it isn't hollow, it's more likely to be a catsear. Dandelions also have only one flower per stalk. Catsear can have multiple flowers branch off of the stalk. Other plants have these traits though, so a better way to be sure it's a catsear is if it's leaves are similar to that of the dandelion.

Catsear is edible and can be used in most of the same ways that real dandelion could be. However it's nutritional value is unclear.

Field Corn[edit]

When riding the rails or hitchhiking you will often find fields of corn waiting to feed you hungry travelers. If you are lucky you will be near sweet corn, but field or dent corn (animal feed) while not sweet is edible, if it is dried out you can pound or grind into cornmeal. You can eat corn raw but cooking will make it taste much better. Pull the silk out of the top but don't remove the husk (leaves covering the corn). Some people will pour a little salty water in to flavor before cooking but it is optional. Wrap the husk tightly and either wrap in foil and place in the edge of the coals or place on a grille and cover, turn every few minutes. Add salt spices and butter to your liking, cooking 10-20 minutes. If the corn has already dried hard either boil it in a soup or crush into corn meal and try the recipes below. (Edited from Dishes & Beverages Of The Old South by Martha McCulloch-Williams (1913) [1])

Another alternative is to remove all but a thin layer of husk around the corn cob, instead of using foil. The only problem with this is that the husk burns rather easily, so direct flame is not recommended.

Mallow[edit]

The common mallow is related to the plant that was used over 100 years ago to make the original marshmallow. A mucilaginous substance was extracted from the roots and peas of the plant, and whipped with sugar to make the confection.

Identification: Common mallow can be identified by scallop-like leaves that branch off of a central stalk. The younger plants start off as something similar to a basal rosette. Most of the leaves grow off their own branches, and the leaves have a fine hair-like texture. The leaves of the kind of mallow that grows in Europe may appear more ivy-like, but will still grow in the same way as the American common mallow. When the leaves are chewed, you may be able to feel a slight mucilaginous texture (though not always). When the plant blossoms, the flowers have 5 pink-colored petals with purple veins. The petals may also be heart-shaped. Common mallow grows in every western continent. Ground ivy can be mistaken for common mallow, and vise versa. Ground ivy has a square stem whereas mallow does not. Ground ivy leaves are more round and are attached to their stems from the center of the leaf.

Time of Year: These grow pretty much all year in most climates, although they start growing rapidly in spring.

Preparation: Mallow has very little taste and most people find the hairy texture of the leaves to be unpleasant. Generally, you will probably only want to eat the leaves of this plant if you are desperate. If you decide to eat it, boiling the leaves will make it more palatable. Though it still won't taste great. Not bad flavor; just bad texture. Putting the leaves in a sandwich will help cover up the texture. The stalks and root can't be eaten because they are too tough and fibrous even when boiled.

The "peas" of the common mallow are likely the most edible part of the plant. While the plants usually don't bear that many peas, you can collect them and cook them like real peas. They aren't very flavorful, but they're still very good to eat. But they are the most mucilaginous part of the plant, so that may make some people turn away.

It is possible to use the plant to make the confection we know as marshmallow. You have two options: To use the root or use the peas. The root of the plant is around longer, but it also must be fairly large and the best time to collect it is during when the plant is flowering or when its producing peas. Your other option is to use the peas of the plant. The advantage in just using the peas is that you will not only probably get better results, but it means the plant itself can live to continue producing more peas. The disadvantage is that the peas only come around for one part of the year. If you want, you can use both the root and the peas.

The material should be cut up and placed in boiling water. You should use 2 to 3 cups of water for every cup of plant material you're cooking. Over time, the water should thicken to a certain point, and then you should filter out the plant material with a sieve. Take the filtered mucilaginous fluid and whip it with sugar. Add sugar until it's to your liking. You can either immediately put it on a dessert or you can make little plots on a sheet and let them dry.

Miner's Lettuce[edit]

Miner's Lettuce actually isn't a true lettuce. It is a member of the Claytonia genus, whilst true lettuces are from the lactuca genus. Miner's lettuce got its name from the California gold rush in 1848, because it was consumed by gold miners as a source of vitamin C to prevent scurvy. Keep that in mind in case you haven't consumed much fruit on a long trek.

Location: Miner's lettuce is located throughout the pacific coast of North America, even sometimes up to Alaska. Though most of it is found in California. It has also been naturalized in parts of Europe.

Identification: It is very easy to identify and has no poisonous or non-poisonous lookalikes. When the plant is young, it bears lush arrow-like leaves, and soon after it will produce saucer-shaped leaves with tiny white or purple blossoms in the middle of the saucers. Each of the leaves and saucers have their own stalk, and the stalks become very tender near the bottom and are a silvery-white or purplish color. Miner's lettuce has very tiny roots and the whole plant can be uprooted extremely easily (it's often difficult not to pull out the entire plant when just tugging at one of the stalks). The plant thrives in a certain amount of shade, so you will almost always find it on shady hillsides. It will grow in a variety of altitudes. This contributor has found miner's lettuce from as low as 1,200 ft to as high as the mountains in Yosemite Valley.

Preparation: Pick it up and eat it! Every part of the plant can be eaten, and there are no spines or defenses that have to be removed. It can be easily grabbed and munched on during a hiking trip. Miner's lettuce is best eaten raw in a salad. The stalks can be fibrous, so one might want to remove them and just eat the leaves; That doesn't mean you can't eat the stalks too. Miner's lettuce can be boiled like spinach, but this isn't recommended unless you have collected an abundance of plant material. When boiled, the miner's lettuce shrinks significantly. Don't boil the stalks as they become tougher to eat, due to their more fibrous nature.

Other Uses: If you're low on drinking water, a long way from a stream, and have come across some full-grown miner's lettuce, then you're in luck. The tender stalks are very lush and juicy. Grab an entire plant and squeeze or chew on the stalks; They will provide you with a substantial amount of liquid good for drinking. If you squeeze the liquid out of a few miner's lettuce plants, it may help to hold you over until the next stream.

Mustard[edit]

We all know the condiment, mustard, but did you know that the mustard plant itself can be eaten? Wild mustard makes for a wonderful green vegetable, and even has a mild to pungent mustard flavor. All varieties of mustard can be eaten, and they grow in many places around the world.

Identification: Wild varieties of mustard tend to have small yellow 4-petaled flowers with 6 stamen. 3 of them are tall and 2 of them are short. The flowers come off branches from the central stem, and long skinny seed pods also grow off the stalk. The leaves are broad leaved and fairly large.

Preparation: Mustard greens can be eaten raw, but some may not like the pungent flavor. The best way to be get rid of some of the spicy taste is to boil the greens for at least 10 minutes. After that, you can add whatever dressing you like. For simplicity, olive oil and vinegar with a little salt and pepper always works well. Only cook the leaves; While the whole plant is edible, the stalk is very tough and potent even when cooked. The root is nothing special, and you can usually throw it out. But overall, mustard greens make a great food which you can also use to add flavor to other meals. If you like the mustard flavor, they make an excellent salad green and can make for an entire meal on their own, depending on size.

Opuntia (Cactus)[edit]

There are other kinds of cactus that are edible, but here we are talking about the a kind of cactus common in Mexican cuisine known as opuntias. These are cactuses that are "paddle" shaped with small irritating hairs and often long spines typical of most cacti. There are two parts of this plant that can be eaten. The paddle, known as the nopalito, can be de-spined, skinned, and cooked like a vegetable. The fruit of the opuntia, known as the prickly pear, can be skinned and eaten as is or incorporated into a dessert.

Location: Opuntias grow in 46 of the 50 states in the U.S. They can also be found in Hawaii. The only states it can't be found in natively are New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. They can also be found in Mexico and throughout parts of Central and South America.

Identification: Cactus is made up of multiple paddle-shaped pads and often grow magenta fruits known as prickly pears.

Edibility: All opuntias are edible. Just make sure an opuntia is what you have. They are edible both raw and cooked, but most people prefer them to be cooked.

Preparation: When collecting parts of an opuntia, make sure to always wear gardening gloves. This is to protect you from the glochlids, which are irritating little hairs that come from the "eyes" of the pads and fruits. Not dangerous unless you get them in your eyes; otherwise they are just irritating. People underestimate the opuntia and figure they don't need gloves because they only see large spines, and those same people end up getting their fingers covered in little itchy hairs. After you collect your pads/fruits, make sure to wash them with water and pluck out long spines with needle-nose pliers. This will help get rid of some of the loose glochlids. There are a few ways to get rid of the glochlids. One is to burn them off with a torch, which won't be a problem if you plan on cooking the part. Another way is to remove the eyes with an apple-corer or with the end of a peeler. The outer skin is edible, but the most sure-fire way to get rid of all the glochlids is to skin the outside of the pad/fruit with a peeler or a knife. The pad can be grilled or boiled and seasoned with some salt & pepper. You'll know when it's done when it turns into a more olive-green color similar to cooked green capsicum (bell pepper). It can then be cut into little strips and added to tacos or a salad, or just eaten straight. The prickly pears can be removed of glochlids and can be eaten raw, juiced, or added to flavor a dessert. Just beware of the very hard seeds, which can break teeth.

The pads can be very mucilaginous, which can be unappealing to some people. If you boil or sauté your pads, you can remove them and dump off the mucilaginous byproduct. The opuntias can provide quite a bit of food because they don't shrink too much when cooked, unlike many other wild foods.

Other uses for the opuntia would be as a hedge for one's property, because they make for a formidable defense.

Palm Fruit[edit]

Yet another ornamental plant that, with a few exceptions, is generally considered inedible. Those among the exceptions would be dates and coconuts. But those aren't the only palm trees that bear perfectly good fruits!

Palm trees are very distinct, so we all know how to identify them. What makes palms even better is that none of them are poisonous! They also grow all around the world in both arid and tropical climates, and they're often planted as ornamentals.

If you find a coconut palm, then you're definitely in luck, and same goes for date palms. But other kinds of palms produce different kinds of fruit. One such palm is known as the pindo palm or the "jelly palm", which produces a bounty of orange fruits that are about the size of a walnut. Some are tastier than others, and usually the fruits are very fibrous making them somewhat difficult to eat. However, the fruits are excellent for making preserves. They're naturally mucilaginous so they do not need any pectin when making a preserve. All you have to do to make jelly palm fruit preserve is to place your fruit into a pot with enough water to cover most of them, and boil them. When the fruit becomes a little bit softer, use a potato masher to mash the fruit and get as much juice out of them as possible. Once you've squeezed out as much as possible, you have to strain out the fruits and then continue boiling the juice. The juice may be kind of bland, so add sugar to taste. That's all you need to do to make a preserve out of jelly palm fruit. You may need to boil the preserve longer to get the desired consistency; You can make a syrup or create more of a jam/jelly. There are other palm trees that produce a similar orange fruit, and they can be used in the same way. The preserve will taste similar to a fruity honey. Tastes great on ice cream, contains lots of calories, and is high in vitamin C!

There is also the "saw palmetto"; a palm that produces a black olive-like fruit. Their flavor is not considered very pleasant to most, as they are often described to taste like oily and peppery blue cheese. But they are very rich in fatty acids. Eat small amounts at first to get accustomed to it. The saw palmetto is a low-growing palm like the pindo palm, but with a more fan-like leaf and the stalks have sawtooth-like spikes.

Broadleaf Plantain (Plantago)[edit]

A native to Eurasia, the broadleaf plantain grows just about everywhere (at least in North America) during non-winter seasons. It is considered an invasive weed, and in some areas it grows so wildly, so pretty much you can't harvest too much of it. The broadleaf plantain is small but has relatively large spoon-like leaves which are tough and fibrous when matured. They usually have a rattail- like seed pod which sticks up vertically. The older leaves can be eaten, but are very tough. The young leaves of the broadleaf plantain can be eaten because they are softer and more tender. The plant is a bit bitter with a taste reminiscent of spinach.

The large leaves can be used to dress wounds, as it contains natural antibiotics and a powerful coagulant. Because of this, plantain should not be eaten by those taking blood thinners. Broadleaf plantain leaves are known to also treat and calm insect bites; Some people chew up a leaf and stick it to an insect bite.

Thistle[edit]

Thistle is another one of those foods deemed worthless by the general public. Different kinds of thistle, such as milk thistle, were somewhat of a common food at one time. They became unpopular in contrast to other vegetables due to it's spines. But the reason the thistle developed such a formidable defense is because it can make for a good food. Little do people know about how edible and useful these spiky plants are.

The thistle usually starts out as a basal rosette, and then after a year it will grow a stalk with a flower (usually purple with large spines around it). The leaves have little spines around the edges that hurt when touched, so you may want to handle the plant with gloves. The spines on some thistles will soften when boiled, like with the sow thistle and milk thistle. But if you don't want to boil the leaves, you can simply cut off the spines with a knife or snip them off with scissors. Depending on the kind of leaves you're dealing with, this can be a lot of work. The greens are usually not bitter and make a great addition to your meadow salad. All thistles are edible, but make sure the plant you have is indeed a thistle. Milk thistle is particularly bountiful in that they grow large and are more broadleaved, whereas some other thistles have narrow leaves. Milk thistle can be identified from other thistles in that the leaves have milk-colored splotches on them.

The inner stalk of the thistle can be eaten raw or boiled. To get to this tender part of the stalk, you have to carefully strip off the leaves until you are left with the part you want. The stalk is hollow and has a somewhat similar feel to celery when cut. Depending on the size of your thistle, the stalk can be of decent size, and the harvest is especially worth it if you find an abundance of thistle.

The leaves and the seeds can be used medicinally as a liver tonic. While research in the past lead to unclear results, a more recent government-funded study showed that the chemical in milk thistle, silymarin, showed promise in treating toxin-induced liver damage. [2]

When the plant dries out after the summer, the flower becomes a mass of soft white fibers with seeds. The fiber can makes great tinder for starting a fire and it can also be used as a replacement for down in a pillow.

Strawberry Tree (Arbutus)[edit]

This plant is somewhat common as an ornamental plant in suburban areas that are of a Mediterranean climate. The strawberry tree bears many fruits which vaguely resemble the strawberry. The fruits are red and berry-like with a bumpy outer-texture, about 3/5 the size of a golf ball. Most strawberry trees are actually more bush-like than a tree, with flat green leaves. The best way to identify the strawberry tree is to look at the fruits. The fruit matures at the same time as the newer fruits develop, so there will be both yellow fruits and red fruits (the red ones are ripe and edible). The ripe fruits are soft, sticky, and orange inside with many little seeds. The fruits usually don't have much flavor, although some strawberry trees have better tasting fruits than others. The flavor is often referred to as a combination of peach and strawberry. Though the fruits are unknown by most people and considered worthless, they can easily be made into a tasty jam preserve and can even be used to make alcohol. The strawberry tree bears quite a bit of fruit, so a single harvest can yield a large amount of food.

Strawberry Tree Jam[edit]

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of strawberry tree fruit
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of sugar

Instructions:

  1. Wash the fruit thoroughly and remove the stems. The skin can be left on and will dissolve in the jam process.
  2. Take a large spoon or a potato masher and mash the fruit in a large bowl or pot. Mash it thoroughly until there are no large chunks. You will now have a large orange mash with red specs from the skin.
  3. Now comes the hard part. The seeds of the fruit are many and very tough. It's possible to have the seeds present in the jam, but it will make the jam tough and not as pleasant to eat. To filter out the seeds, you must pour the mash through a sieve into a cooking pot. This is a somewhat long process, depending on how much fruit you have. It might be necessary to add water to the mashed fruit to make it filter through easier (however this will significantly increase cooking time).
  4. Add the lemon juice to the fruit mash, and then bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn it down to a simmer and stir occasionally for an hour.
  5. Slowly add the sugar and let simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste occasionally and add more sugar or lemon juice depending on your preference.

This jam can either be properly canned or placed in a container for short-term storage.